Muse by Craig Ranapia


Merry Darth George Hathos Day!

I hate pidding all over whatever Christmas cheer you've managed to muster - and taking aim at Garth George, The Herald's resident Witi Ihimaera, is as cheap as Chinese sweatshop tinsel - but  this disasterpiece of bathetic auto-plagiarism is irresistible.

At the centre of Christian belief is that with the birth of Jesus Christ God himself came down to Earth to dwell among his people.

The tiny hands that so entranced Mary and Joseph in the Bethlehem manger would one day reach out to the diseased, the lame, the blind, the deaf, the anxious, the grieving, the fearful, the helpless and the hopeless with an infinitely compassionate healing touch.

The tiny mouth which sought his mother's breast would later speak words the like of which had never been heard before; words which explained for the first time the reality of God's eternal, unquenchable love for all mankind, the depth of his desire to be fully reconciled with his children and to be allowed to be a perfect father to everyone.

I'm going to have the image of the Virgin Mary's pert nipples burned into my mind's eye until Twelfth Night, which (I hope) was not the intended effect.  Cleanse your mind's eye with a master class in how you do seasonal pathos, without the sugary encrustation of Xmas kitsch...

John Betjeman's Christmas, read by Farnham Town Crier Jonathan Jones.

And is it true,
This most tremendous tale of all,
Seen in a stained-glass window's hue,
A Baby in an ox's stall ?
The Maker of the stars and sea
Become a Child on earth for me ?

And is it true ? For if it is,
No loving fingers tying strings
Around those tissued fripperies,
The sweet and silly Christmas things,
Bath salts and inexpensive scent
And hideous tie so kindly meant,

No love that in a family dwells,
No carolling in frosty air,
Nor all the steeple-shaking bells
Can with this single Truth compare -
That God was man in Palestine
And lives today in Bread and Wine.

Take notes, Garth, and don't forget the attribution.

And as for you, faithful readers, have a safe and pleasant holiday season - even if you don't believe a word of it.


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